Not an Advent tradition most folks ever consider

The world just topped 8 billion in human population. Is there room in the inn for you, me, and all of God’s children? Advent is a season when we intentionally prepare our hearts and make room. That means removing the clutter and junk from our lives to allow space for Christ’s coming. This season is busy and intense for most of us. Emptying and simplifying strikes us as seasonally inappropriate. We think of doing more and more, not less and less.
Cleaning our hearts is no different than our house – sometimes we just need a yard sale, a trip to the recycling center, or even the landfill! That’s not an Advent tradition most folks ever consider. But a prayerful assessment of our lives may reveal habits and expectations that no longer fit our deeper yearnings. Just as we give away clothing we have outgrown or no longer use, we may need to let go of worn-out rituals of how we celebrate Christmas – do less so that we experience more.
This season, find non-material ways to say, “I love you.” Simplifying gift-giving patterns is another way to do less and experience more. Making room for the marginalized within the various inns of our lives is a way to experience deeply the love of God.
This advent, do a little housecleaning in the nooks and corners and attic of your soul: make room for what is important.
Shalom, Paul